The Song

The world loves young love. You know…the innocence, endless glances, constant touches, mushy words, and how they can’t stand to be apart.

Not long ago my fourteen year old granddaughter caught Cheryl and me holding hands and, with an extended sweet voice, said “Ah.” I think she knew something was right about what she saw.

This is the season for weddings. Those of us who have been married for centuries like to sit back and snicker, “And they think they know something about love—wait until they’ve been married as long as we have.” In a strange bundle of cynicism, wisdom, and maybe envy we watch young love unfold and sometimes secretly wish we could start again. Start again and keep the passion; start again and avoid the mistakes; start again and keep love vigorous and glowing.

Our seniority has helped us weather the storms, we note. Maybe. If we’re honest, we still feel the battering against the rocks. Or, forgetting the troubled waters, we have difficulty admitting young lovers may have something we need to cling to again.

Time in service doesn’t guarantee wisdom. Avoiding the storms doesn’t ensure a safe passage. It’s not how long we’ve sailed the ocean that helps us find the shore. It’s the map that guides us.

Young lovers have a PR problem. They are like young Pastor Timothy in the New Testament. Churches then and now don’t easily accept a leader who is young; we look askance at young love. Do we rate experience too highly? “What could they know,” we say. The Apostle Paul had to encourage Timothy, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe”(1 Timothy 4:12, NAS).

Here is the map: the Scripture and its most well-known love story. It paints an inspired portrait of irrepressible young love in mushy, gushy words underscored by foundational colors—principles—that provide encouragement and guidance for love to continually flourish. I recommend frequent immersion in the Song of Songs. Young people, start here; those seasoned in love, discover its riches.

Some see The Song as an allegory about Christ and His love for the Church, blushing at the explicit imagery. Scripture does affirm the relationship followers of Christ have with Him in the language of marriage (Ephesians 5:32; Revelation 21:9). The Bridegroom’s (Christ’s) love for His bride (Church/believers) is an indescribable treasure chest filled to overflowing. Here there is the reward for those unattached to someone. I think, though, that the natural way a reader would receive the words of The Song is as a love story—love that is unstoppable, ardent, exhilarating, and overwhelming.

Why should our marriages drift from such an inspired beginning?

Young and old lovers, I invite you to take the plunge into The Song. Wade into its jewels and refresh your love through the words of compliment and principles of surrender, joy, respect, friendship, adoration, and pursuit.

And remember, my granddaughter is watching.

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